Enabling Spotlight For Network Volumes

Spotlight doesn’t automatically index network volumes. To configure spotlight to index network volumes, use the mdutil command followed by an arbitrary path, with the -i option and then the on parameter. For example, for a volume called Galvatron, you would enable indexing using the following command:

mdutil /Volumes/Galvatron -i on

To monitor the status of the indexing process:

mdutil /Volumes/Galvatron -s

If this happens to cause any problems, use the off parameter instead, along with the same command to disable indexing of that volume.

mdutil /Volumes/Galvatron -i off

You can send the mdutil commands through Apple Remote Desktop. For example, I’ve needed to toggle indexing on and then off, for which I would do something as follows via ARD:

mdutil /Volumes/Galvatron -i off; mdutil /Volumes/Galvatron -i on

2 Comments

  • Mallory
    August 31, 2012 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Do you know why terminal would result in “Error unable to perform operation (-403)” for both the on/off command. It says “Server Search enabled”. And I do have read/write access to the folder.

    • September 15, 2012 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      This is usually a permission issue. You could try to edit ACLs on the server volume, although one would hope sudo would work. I’ve had to nuke and pave my shares before at times, when I see that error. Good luck.

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